Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Festive Things

One very long, very festive sentence coming your way right here: White Elephant gift exchanges, decorating Gingerbread Houses, dark windows and twinkling lights, bits of holly and evergreen boughs tucked into all the right places, brown paper packages tied up with string, the cutest little Mary in the church's Christmas Pageant, siblings exchanging gifts that they bought with their own money for the first time and deciding to do it on Christmas Eve and bringing giant smiles to each others' faces, candlelight shared with Believers in the Christ Child born to save the Whole World while singing carols that bring tears to my eyes, dearest friends and dearest family, and a carrot shaped like a Manatee: all the most festive merry happy things from this Christmas season.

And to all, a good night.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Borage and a Bee

If it weren't so frivolous and expensive and if I wasn't so intent on making sure everyone around me feels comfortable all the time, I would probably have a patchwork of tattoos on my skin. It really isn't about getting other's approval, it's more about not liking to be the center of attention. And I live in a very small, very conservative town where I would certainly draw stares on a consistent basis if I had as much skin art as I'd like to have. So I am on a very slow, very purposeful journey toward collecting ink.

This one has been in my mind for nearly a year. Borage! and a Bee! Because bees love Borage and I love bees and also because Borage represents Courage and Optimism and Peace in the home, and because it is used for adrenal strengthening; something I'll probably always need. I couldn't be happier with this little bit of permanent ink on my shoulder. Done by Momma Tomma at Anatomy Tattoo in Portland.

Sunday, December 17, 2017


This kid. My sweet, kind, gentle giant. The first to call me Mama. Who gives the best hugs and still holds my hand in public. He's 12 years old today (insert crying emoji here).

He wanted to keep it low-key this year, so we had just a few family members over on Saturday evening to celebrate with Carnitas and ice cream cake from Dairy Queen (thanks again, Theresa!).

On Sunday, his actual birthday, he was the "lighting expert" for the children's Christmas pageant at church. Afterward, he got pizza for lunch at his favorite local place followed by a much-anticipated viewing of The Last Jedi. This kid gets a Star Wars movie released on or near his birthday just about every year now (the blessing of having a birthday one week before Christmas, I suppose).

The final special event was a day with his two best friends, devoted entirely to Nerf wars and video games. Every 12 year old boy's dream, I'm pretty sure.

I love this kid so much. He continually surprises me with deep, mature conversations. He has a grasp on the world that is both 12 and 65 years old at the same time. I hope he is forever and ever the same gentle old soul that he was as a baby, and still is today. I pray that life won't take any of it away, but will only make it deeper and more solid. I wish you all could meet him. I don't think I'm biased when I say that he is a rare treasure among boys.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Oldies Revisited

Did you know that this coming March will be my 10th anniversary as a Cross Stitch Designer? I started out so small, dear reader... selling charts one at a time. No distributors, no shops, just me, my computer, and a few dozen ebay followers.

The past nine years have been a slow and steady climb, and I'm often amazed that I'm still doing this thing that I love. I try to not play the comparison game, but it's a bit hard for me to believe that you all want to buy my designs when there are SO MANY amazing and beautiful and beyond-me creations from other designers that you could be stitching instead.

Some of you have been with me from the very beginning, and to you I have the biggest, most heartfelt amount of thankfulness; you have supported me and encouraged me and really and truly are the reason I began designing in the first place.

In light of the pending 10th anniversary, I've started highlighting some of my older designs for those of you that have learned of my existence at some point along the way.

As promised before, I'm continuing my journey down memory lane, hearkening back to the samplers that I first came up with in the early days of my designing career.

Tidings of Comfort and Joy (5 Little Christmas Samplers) was both my first booklet collection AND my first Christmas release. I was so proud of this grouping! And of my fancy photo editing to get them all on the cover photo! The charts in this collection are small and quick to stitch up, if you're looking for a few last-minute creations for this holiday season. If not, rest assured that this title will still be available next year, and the year after, and the year after, for as long as I'm still breathing and able to make runs to the post office for you.

For those of you that don't have a needlework shop nearby, I promise you that every single one of my designs will always be available for sale in my etsy shop, including this chart.

Although many of my older designs have been discontinued by one or more of my distributors, there's a good chance they will still be available through one of them, so put in your request with your local needlework shop owner to get it ordered for you. You can currently get my designs through the distributors listed in the side bar to the right of this post. Your local shop owner can also come directly to me to order any of my designs; I gladly sell wholesale directly to established shops.

Monday, December 11, 2017


It is time for some much needed relaxing and also some much needed catching up on all the things I haven't had time to do while managing my lovely cross-stitch business (including this blog: stay tuned for everything I've been saving since September). You have until the end of the week to stock up on anything you simply must have before the end of the year! I will still be here to answer email questions, but I won't be sending out any orders, including to shops and distributors from 12/15/17 until 1/3/18.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Decking the Halls

It's pretty simple around here... I update my little hallway chalkboard with a festive greeting. The mantel and piano top get some garland and lights. The kitchen windows get garland and a Nativity. A stack of Christmas storybooks are put out for reading. And there's a tree (harvested right here on our own property). No collections to display; no spill over into other rooms; it's pretty much just the family area that sparkles. But that is where we spend our time, and it's enough.